Weekly newsletter

Képviselőfánk – The Dessert We Hardly Know Anything about – with Recipe!

Adrienn Vass 2021.12.28.

Regarding its origins, the képviselőfánk (cream bun or cream puff in English) is one of the biggest mysteries in Hungarian gastronomy, as there are almost no written records of where, when, and who first made it, but there is no clear answer to the biggest mystery either: what is it named after?

Although its recipe had been circulating in recipe books and magazines since the early 1900s – and even then under the name of ‘képviselőfánk’ – curiously, even the more storied reference books knew nothing of its history. Oral tradition, of course, wrote its own story. Legend has it that the name of the donut has something to do with MPs, since it was a quick snack cake that was eaten by MPs in the 1800s. (Translated literally, it means “representative donut”). The donut may have been sold in the Parliament’s buffet, where MPs would rush out for a bite between votes, but there is also a version in which the stuffed donut was invented by a Member of Parliament. It would be a shame to give too much credit to this, as the only lexiconic reference to the MP’s donut is in the Laughing Dictionary, which – jokingly – defines it as a ‘parliamentary sweet’. History or no history, the képviselőfánk is our own little eclair, or profiterole, since it differs from these sweets essentially only in form, but because of that, it is our own.

Photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today

Ingredients

For the dough

15 dkg lard
15 dkg fine flour
6 eggs
0.5 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch of salt
3 dl water
1 egg (for spreading)

Photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today

For the vanilla cream

1 sachet vanilla pudding powder
4.5 dl milk
4 tbsp sugar (to taste)

For the white cream

5 dl whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet of whipped cream stabilizer

Photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today

Preparation

In a pan, boil the 3 dl water, salt, and sugar, then add the lard.

When it is completely dissolved, add the flour.

Stir until it is smooth and comes off the sides of the pan.

Remove from the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, then pour into a piping bag and press into small mounds. (Leave enough space between them, as they will expand).

And now comes the secret. 🙂 Bake in a preheated oven at 230 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 200 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Once they are nice and golden, close the oven and leave the door ajar for 15 minutes to allow the donuts to cool slowly so they don’t collapse.

To make the yellow cream, cook the custard powder with the milk-sugar-flour-vanilla mixture until thick, then when it has cooled a little, add the beaten egg whites and the gelatine.

For the white cream, whip the cream with the sugar until stiff and add the whipping cream.

Cut the cooled donuts into 2/3 pieces, then pour in the yellow cream, followed by the white cream.

When ready, put the tops back on.

Almás Béles – Hungary’s Response to Apple Pie – with Recipe!
Almás Béles – Hungary’s Response to Apple Pie – with Recipe!

In Hungary, the most popular home recipe for pie is almás béles (apple filling), which is perhaps a more dough-focused version than the typical apple pie.Continue reading

Featured image via Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today